FWD.us Statement on House Votes on “No Sanctuary for Criminals” and the new “Kate’s Law”

WASHINGTON, DC – FWD.us President Todd Schulte issued the following statement today opposing two pieces of immigration-related legislation, “No Sanctuary for Criminals” and “Kate’s Law,” that are expected to be voted on in the House today:

“For years, the House has said it wants to address the aspects of our immigration system in desperate need of reform, but again this week we see another example of a years long pattern of bringing nothing but more enforcement-only bills to a vote. Both of these bills will make us less safe, not more. They would force more tax-dollars to be spent arresting, jailing or deporting immigrants whose only violation is their immigration status.

These bills are not the reform we need: they will not modernize a decades-out-of-date legal visa system to ensure we can lead the global economy in the 21st century and will not pair actual effective border security with creating a pathway to citizenship that allows undocumented immigrants who pass a background check to earn citizenship over a period of time.

Kate Steinle’s murder was a terrible tragedy that no family should ever, ever go through; and our system at the state, local and federal level failed. This version of “Kate’s Law” has seen substantial revisions, including the removal of incredibly harmful mandatory minimums for immigration violations. This new bill, however, still results in too many people being imprisoned for nonviolent offenses, many others deported who present no public safety threat, and puts communities in opposition to law enforcement and needlessly under fear of deportation.

While these are presented as public safety bills, leading law enforcement has made very clear, that they oppose these bills and that it will hurt public safety.  The Fraternal Order of Police opposed the “No Sanctuary for Criminals” legislation, and law enforcement from around the country continue to oppose both of these bills. If passed, this bill will threaten funding actually critical to public safety, including the Violent Gang and Gun Crime Reduction Program, the COPS Anti-Heroin Task Force, the Port Security Grant Program and the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, which works to reduce rape kit backlogs nationwide – to name only a few.  

We agree with law enforcement that they should focus on those individuals who present an actual threat to public safety and national security. Congress should bring forward legislation to address every aspect of our broken immigration system – there is no reason to wait.”

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